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David Buchan - MSc | LLM Oil, Gas and Renewable Energy Law

David Buchan Web
David Buchan is celebrating success as he has completed a long-held ambition to return to university to gain a Masters degree.

The 50-year-old, who is from Angus but living in Aberdeen, has taken to the ‘virtual’ stage to collect his LLM/MSc degree in Oil Gas and Renewable Law from Robert Gordon University.

After 23 years of working in the drilling industry, he felt he was ready for a new challenge and wanted to complete his ambition of returning to study.

“It was the structure and course content of RGU’s LLM/MSc Oil Gas and Renewable Law that I felt met my interests and was best suited to develop my career in a slightly different direction to the operations and the engineering career background I had,” he said.

He continued: “RGU is a notable academic institution with a high reputation and strong links to industry and employers as a whole. I was impressed after a visit of RGU’s Open Evening in November 2016 where the RGU staff made me feel welcome. I learned that RGU’s graduates gaining employment six months after graduation was quoted at 96%.

“I studied full-time for two semesters when I was given permission from RGU to suspend my studies for 18 months. I was approached by an ex-boss to return to the drilling industry to supervise drilling of new exploration well in the UAE. It was the first onshore commercial gas discovery in Sharjah for over 30 years. I give my thanks to the RGU Law School to allow me to do this.”

David, who’s first degree is from St Andrews University, has lived and worked in the UK, Norway, France, Denmark, Oman, KSA, UAE, FSU and Malaysia in roles from a Drilling Engineer up to a Project Manager. As his career progresses, he found that contracts, industry legislation and environmental law played an ever-increasing role in his day-to-day work.

“I felt the RGU course was a great opportunity to learn about these matters in more depth and also in other aspects of law in the energy industry,” he added.

“Law was a new field to me when I started but thanks to the RGU course I have a greater understanding of the fundamentals of law, and mergers and acquisitions, dispute resolution, renewable energy law, and even maritime law.

“The course has sharpened my discipline in managing my time and organisational skills to study, to produce detailed written academic papers and in making presentations.  I also found the opportunity to attend Energy Law Conferences at both RGU and at Dundee University very worthy for the latest industry views given by regulators, policy-makers and notable industry figures. These lectures provided revealing insights and perspectives into the energy industry, renewable energy and the law firms that specialise in these fields.”

Speaking of how he had to adapt when the global pandemic hit earlier this year and studies moved online, David said: “When I resumed my studies in March 2020, the COVID crisis hit. From my perspective RGU seemed to adapt so well in that its IT platforms and the RGU Library was designed for off-campus students and would allow students to continue doing research and coursework remotely. 

“RGU’s staff and students have been kind, encouraging and supportive in my Masters journey. I thank them for that and wish everyone at RGU well for a bright and successful future in 2021 and beyond.”

David now plans to resume his career in the energy industry with his new qualification.

He concluded: “It is an ambition of mine to use it to work in the field of renewable energy before I eventually retire!”

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